Protect Yourself from Medicare Fraud

Stethoscope with Medicare Fraud card

Almost 64 million seniors rely on Medicare to help them control their healthcare costs. Know who else relies on Medicare? Scammers! They’ve figured out ways to game the system to the tune of tens of billions each year. These losses affect Medicare enrollees as well as all taxpayers.

You can help staunch the bleeding while protecting your financial and personal information. Read on for three solid strategies for you to follow.

Preventing Medicare Fraud

As we’ve seen, Medicare fraud is a big, expensive problem. Here’s what you can do to thwart fraudsters:

  • Don’t carry your Medicare card in your wallet. Unless you absolutely need to have it for a visit to the hospital or the pharmacy, keep it secured at home. Scammers can use your Medicare card to obtain treatments. That comes with a double whammy. First, the cost of any tests and treatments the scammer receives goes against your benefit limits. You might max out unexpectedly as a result. The second consequence is that any of their ill-gotten medical care becomes part of your medical records.

  • Be wary of anyone claiming to represent Medicare. It’s easy to get pulled into a conversation with a Medicare imposter. New technologies allow fraudsters to spoof Medicare’s number so it shows up in your caller ID. In this scenario, the scammer might be pretending to be from Medicare to have you provide your Social Security number or bank account information.

  • Keep your guard up. There is no shortage of shady players in the Medicare arena. Providers may try to talk you into unnecessary tests and services that will defraud Medicare while lining their pockets. Equipment suppliers, too, can engage in questionable practices. Most play by the rules, but some will overbill or charge you for equipment you never receive.

How to Report Suspected Fraud

Honest billing and coding errors do happen. But if you review your Medicare statements and see that they’re getting billed for something you did not receive, that may be fraud and should be reported. Call 800.MEDICARE (800.633.4227).

Despite our best efforts, fraudsters can still wheedle critical information out of us. To report possible identity theft or if you accidentally gave a person information you shouldn’t have, report this to the Federal Trade Commission. Their ID Theft Hotline is 877.438.4338.

Want to learn more about how you can protect yourself from any kind of fraud or scam? Check out and read posts in the security section of our blog.

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The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. Some products not offered by PSECU. PSECU does not endorse any third parties, including, but not limited to, referenced individuals, companies, organizations, products, blogs, or websites. PSECU does not warrant any advice provided by third parties. PSECU does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by third parties. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal, or other professional if you have questions.